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macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 5, 2017

I want to buy a external SSD harddrive for my mac mini late 2014 with slow harddrive.

I have read here in the forum that i MOST choose USB 3.1 gen2 for best performance.

But i dont really understand this usb 3.1 gen 2 thing, most it be exactly that for best performance (under $60).
Can i get better performance with another usb type or something?

I am thinking about buying this right now:

Thank you for your help!


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009

The Transcend drive you posted above should work fine.

Have you considered "building your own" drive?
Often it's just a "snap together" process.

You would need:
- An "nvme" blade SSD (many available, I like Crucial)
- A USB3.1 gen2 enclosure (again, many available).

Get one that has a cable that DISCONNECTS from the drive. I think most are this way.

With a cable that can be swapped, you can use the drive NOW with a USBc connector (drive end) to USB3a connector (Mini end). You'll get USB3 speeds (reads around 420MBps).

Then, someday in the future when you move to a new Mac, you can change to a USBc - USBc cable for the new Mac. And the drive will run FASTER, with reads around 850MBps.
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macrumors member
Jun 12, 2013
I have two SamsungT5s, and concur.
There's also the SanDISKs, of which I also have two now - ranging in capacity from 500GB to 4 TB:

SanDisk 4TB Extreme Portable SSD - Up to 1050MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2

And from another, very similar thread:
If you’re fine with 5 Gbits speeds though, you should find any number of USB-C SSDs like Samsung T7. It includes the USB-C to A cable you need for the 2014 and you could use either USB-C to C for the M1 Mac Mini for 10 Gbits speeds, or C to A cable for 5 Gbits speeds because Apple’s USB A ports are only 5 Gbits (there are 10 Gbits USB A ports but Apple has never included one of those on any product of theirs).

If you still wanted the fastest for both then the Lacie Mobile SSD Pro is Titan Ridge and would work with Thunderbolt on both computers (through the Apple adapter for the 2014). In addition to also working with USB-only hosts, like most pre-Thunderbolt 3 Windows machines. But while it’s about twice the speed, it’s also twice the price over the T7.



macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
I have a usb C/A wester digital drive that is almost 1GB/second speeds
so really any manufacture will be enough to run naything

everyone else:
as far as building one's own SSD drive
would getting a USB3 enclosure for 256 GB NvME drive (already have) for $30
is better than a $9 SATA enclosure for any hard drive?
this would be to run and boot Catalina separate from Mojave on a Mini
thanks in advance!


macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2007
I did swap the internal HDD of my Mac mini 2014 for an SATA SSD about 2 years ago.
I did make myself a "logic board removable tool" out of a hard wire and did buy a TR6 torx security screwdriver from China. The whole "operation" was about 20 minutes, but now I could do it in less.

It is really a big difference if you compare it to the original spinning HDD, everysthing is opening much faster, the computer restart is super fast. And I don't have that superfast SATA SSD, just a standard 120 GB model from Intenso. With some bigger and faster SSD models from different companies you can have 500-600 MBit/sec write and read speed, that means the maximum that is on the SATA-3/III connection possible.

But I also have a (never) 1 TB HDD in external USB 3.0 enclosure. Nothing fancy, but is is OK for saving digital images/pictures, that are being scanned on this machine.
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